Kickstarters to Watch - Article

By Kasper Andersen, April 17, 2012

Seeing as how crowd funding has become the talk of the town since Double Fine created their monstrously popular Kickstarter project, it's no wonder other developers have been trying to get the community excited about their own projects. And some have succeeded as well, with projects like Wasteland 2 and TAKEDOWN.

But new projects keep popping up, and the community involvement in crowd funding keeps on growing. But before we dive into looking at projects, I'm sure there are some who would like to know more about the way all this works.

kickstart_wasteland2_artWasteland 2 - Made possible by the community

”Is my support needed?”

You might be cautious about supporting projects, and that's not without reason. You have no guarantees that your investment is going to result in a game you will enjoy, after all. But in reality, it's not much different from buying a game as you normally would. There are no guarantees there either, and many crowd funded projects allow you to receive a copy of the game as a reward if your investment is large enough.

But how do you know there will be a finished product? Again, there's no guarantee that a project you pledge money to will succeed, but most developers will know what kind of money they need to finish their game or will be able to snag additional funding from other sources. There's a target they want the community to meet, but if that target isn't met, then no money will exchange hands. In other words, your money isn't going anywhere if the developer can't actually secure enough funds to finish their project.

But what about when that target has been met? Is there any point in funding projects beyond their target? Absolutely! The target that is set for the project is a minimum target; the target that needs to be reached in order for the developer to keep the promises that have been made for that target. But every project that has gone over that target has provided additional value to the community, by making the game bigger or developing it for more platforms, for example. So your money isn't wasted just because the target has already been met.

Meet the projects

So without further ado, here are my personal picks for the most interesting projects currently seeking support.

Republique (iOS)

Pledge required to receive the game: $10
Funding ends: May 12th

kickstart_republique_screenStealth and hacking, made for touchscreens.

Republique is an iOS game from the developers at Camouflaj and Logan who set out to create a game with an interesting story and fascinating gameplay which is made for touch screens, rather than using gamepad design and putting it somewhere it isn't meant to be.

You're a hacker contacted by a mysterious woman named Hope. She wants your help to escape the dictatorial regime in her country, and you'll be manipulating the environment to help Hope escape, by hacking into devices around her and distracting enemies.

The Banner Saga (Windows, Mac)

Pledge required to receive the game: $10
Funding ends: April 21st (so hurry!)

kickstart_thebannersaga_screenThe visuals aren't the only thing that's striking about this game.

The Banner Saga has sprung from the minds of a few BioWare veterans, who wanted to do a role playing game that felt fresh. To make that happen, they're making The Banner Sag - a turn-based strategy game (single and multiplayer) based around viking mythology, with beautiful, hand drawn visuals. The story will be about survival in the wake of disaster, and focuses on managing what happens around you, rather than trying to save the world. The story will also be mature, which means ”forming relationships and making tough decisions; not sex, violence and swearing”.

If you pledge $10, you're getting chapter one, but The Banner Saga is planned as a trilogy, which you can obtain by pledging $50.

The Dead Linger (Windows)

Pledge required to receive the game: $25
Funding ends: April 30th

kickstart_thedeadlinger_artThe road ahead is always dangerous and unknown here.

The Dead Linger is a first person shooter set in zombie-infested worlds. Every world you play in is procedurally generated and spans a huge area, where you try your best to survive. You can also do so with your friends, as each world supports up to 16 players in it at once, and supports both cooperative and competitive multiplayer.

Barricading yourself from the zombies will be a key component of the game, as you try your best to survive by nailing doors and windows shut and using objects like furniture to block openings.

A public alpha is expected within the next six months, where a release model not unlike that used for Minecraft will be employed.

Is that it?

These are just some of the exciting projects you can find on Kickstarter at the moment though, and there are several others that are worthy of attention. These include (but are not limited to):

Hopefully you've found an exciting project worthy of your support!

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